Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced Mini-ITX Case Review

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Installing a system into the Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced

Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced

One of the nicest features of the CM Elite 120 Advanced case is its ability to house a standard ATX power supply. The power supply we have installed here is an Ultra X3 800W fully modular unit. This PSU measures 197mm long, so it is by no means short. Just the fact that you can fit a PSU this big into a Mini-ITX case is impressive in itself. You have this sleek power supply adapter that comes with the case to thank for that.

Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced

With the system completely installed you’ll immediately see that it’s TIGHT. Tight, but it works. Everything fits as it should.

Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced

Looking from the opposite side you’ll notice that the video card takes up most of the space on the left side. My recommendation is to install the GPU last as you’ll likely need to remove it (like I did) several times to make all your connections. There’s still plenty of room as Cooler Master states you can fit a Radeon HD 7990 or a GTX690 (two of the biggest GPU’s available) into this case without hassle. This can make for a potent little gaming setup.

Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced

The rear of the case shows how well everything fits. The only issue I had here was installing the rear I/O plate. The metal on the back of the case is fairly thin so you need to support it with one hand to be able to apply enough force to get the plate to span into place. Try it without the support fingers and risk bending the rear panel.

Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced

As you can see here there isn’t much room at all between the end of the PSU and the ODD connections. If the PSU was any longer or the case didn’t have the special protruding PSU bracket you’d be limited on the PSU you can use.

Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced

You’ll notice here that the 65mm CPU cooler height limitation will severely limit your choice of coolers. Although working with a Mini-ITX board your choice of coolers is typically already limited due to RAM/PCI-E slot clearance issues. We used the stock Intel cooler here as it was all we had on hand that would fit. We tried to use the Zalman CNPS 8900 Extreme, but its width blocks the first RAM port and the PCI-E port on this particular motherboard. However, if you plan on using something this size for a HTPC or file server, you can use the on-board video (IGP) and get away with a single 4GB stick of RAM.

Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced

The power and HDD activity LED’s are both blue on the Elite 120 Advanced and they’re bright enough to be noticed without being too bright and being annoying for HTPC uses.

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